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Panasonic Lumix S5IIX hands on Review

Panasonic S5IIX front with the screen out showing the video display

Price when reviewed


$2199 / €2499

Our Verdict

I’m still testing the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX but it’s already clear that it’s an extremely capable video camera. Its superb stabilisation means that it can be used handheld without a gimbal, so you can travel light, but it can also be integrated into a rig and record 5.8K Apple ProRes footage to an SSD connected via USB-C or an Atomos device connected via HDMI. Alternatively, it can record Blackmagic raw (BRaw) video to a Blackmagic Video Assist recorder. It also comes with a host of video-assist features to help you capture the footage you want.


  • Smaller than some of Panasonic's other full-frame cameras
  • Phase detection focusing with subject detection
  • USB-C SSD recording


  • Headphone, HDMI and USB-C ports may be blocked by the screen when it's flipped to the side
  • No tally light - although there is a Red Rec frame indicator
  • Subject detection is not as advanced as some competitors'

What is the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX?

The Panasonic Lumix S5IIX is very similar to the Lumix S5II that was announced alongside the S5IIX in January 2023. Both cameras use the same full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor that enables Hybrid Phase Detection autofocusing for the first time in a mirrorless Panasonic Lumix camera. They also have the same new processing engine that Panasonic claims delivers video performance level with the Lumix S1H

Although they are very similar, straight from the box, the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX has a few more advanced video features than the S5II. The Lumix S5IIX, for example, is capable of recording 5.8K Apple ProRes video to SSD via an HDMI or USB connection, and has ALL-Intra Recording. It also supports RAW video output to Atomos and BlackMagic external recorders (in the appropriate format) and has support for wired2 and wireless IP streaming and USB tethering.


  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 9th May 2023
  • Sensor: 24.2Mp full-frame (35.6 x 23.8mm) CMOS sensor
  • Lens mount: L
  • Construction: Magnesium alloy with dust and splash resistant seals
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid (contrast and phase detection) with 779 points
  • Subject detection: Human/ Face/Eye/ Animal+Human
  • Stabilisation: 5 axis in-body IS to 5EV, 6.5 with Dual IS
  • Screen: 3-inch 1.84-million-dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 3.68-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.74x magnification
  • Key full frame video resolutions: [6K] 5952×3968 (3:2): 29.97p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), [6K] 5952×3136 (17:9: 29.97p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), [5.9K] 5888×3312 (16:9): 29.97p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), [C4K] 4096×2160: 29.97p, 400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), [4K] 3840×2160: 29.97p, 400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)
  • Key APS-C format video resolurions: [C4K] 4096×2160: 59.94p, 800Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)*, 59.94p, 600Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 59.94p, 200Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 59.94p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 47.95p, 800Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)*, 47.95p, 600Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 47.95p, 200Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 47.95p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM), 23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM), *External USB-SSD recording
  • Video formats: MOV: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC, Apple ProRes MP4: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC
  • Sensitivity: Dual native ISO (Auto, Low, High), Range: ISO100-51,200, expandable to ISO 50-204,800
  • Shutter speed: Stills: 60-1/8,000sec, Bulb, Video: 1/2-1/16,000sec
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 9fps with S-AF, 7fps with C-AF or manual focus, Electronic shutter: 30fps with S-AF or C-AF
  • Memory: Dual SD card slots, both UHS-II
  • Battery life: LCD, LVF: 370 images, in Power Save LVF mode: 1,500 images
  • Weight: 740g with memory card, hot shoe cover and battery
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 134.3×102.3×90.1mm
Panasonic S5IIX sensor visible


As I mentioned earlier, the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX has a newly designed 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor. That’s the same resolution as the Panasonic Lumix S5 but like the S5II, the S5IIX has phase detection pixels on the sensor. This means that S5II and S5IIX have a hybrid focusing system that uses both phase detection and contrast detection. It’s a welcome arrival and something that videographers have been asking for from Panasonic for a long time.

Like the S5II, the S5IIX can shoot internal 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (3:2) and 5.9K (16:9) footage at 30fps, and 4:2:2 C4K and 4K footage at up to 60fps. However, only the Lumix S5IIX is capable of recording 5.8K Apple ProRes footage to an SSD or Atomos device connected via HDMI or USB, or 5.9K Blackmagic Raw (Braw) externally via HDMI to a Blackmagic Video Assist recorder without needing a firmware upgrade or paid license. It also has ALL-Intra recording (C4K, 4K or 3.3K at 800Mbps (USB-SSD), 600Mbps or 400Mbps).

As well as offering external recording of full-frame 5.9K (16:9) 5888×3312 12-bit 29.97p, 23.98p or 25p footage, the S5IIX can record to an external device from an APS-C section of its sensor in 4.1K (17:9) 4128×2176 12-bit at 59.94p, 29.97p, 23.98p, 50p or 25p, or in 3.5K (4:3) 3536×2656 12-bit 29.97p, 23.98p, 50p or 25p.

There’s also a clutch of video-centric display options shutter angle, waveform, vectorscope, and histogram.

As the S5II and S5IIX offer full-sensor recording (or ‘Open Gate’ as Panasonic calls it), the footage can be cropped to a variety of aspect ratios for use on social media without significant loss of image quality.

The paid upgrade for S5II will only unlock the Raw recording options to Atomos or Blackmagic devices. It does not unlock the following features, which are only available on S5IIX:

  • ProRes recording
  • All-Intra recording
  • USB-SSD recording
  • Wireless IP streaming
  • USB Tethering to smartphones
  • Wired IP streaming
Panasonic S5IIX - rear with the screen out showing the video display

Build and handling

When it introduced the original Lumix S5, Panasonic acknowledged that many people want a smaller camera than its other S-series cameras like the Lumix S1 and S1R. Consequently, it’s the smallest, lightest full-frame Panasonic S-series camera. In fact it’s smaller than the Micro Four Thirds Panasonic GH5 II.

Panasonic hasn’t made the Lumix S5IIX or S5 quite as small as the original S5, but at 134.3×102.3×90.1mm and 740g (with memory card, hot shoe cover and battery) it’s still significantly smaller and lighter than cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1.

That increase in size and weight is most likely due to the new cooling system (complete with fan vents either side of the of the viewfinder) in the S5IIX and SII. This is claimed to enable unlimited recording for C4K 60p or lower resolution recording provided you have the power and storage capacity. Panasonic states that the camera may stop recording to protect itself from overheating if the resolution is higher than C4, the frame rate is set to higher than 60 or it’s recording in ProRes.

Like the original S5, the S5IIX is far from small and fiddly. It’s grip is reasonably chunky and it feels comfortable in the hand. It’s also good to know that the camera body frame is made from die-cast magnesium alloy and it’s sealed against dust and moisture ingress. However, it will be interesting to see how the fan vents cope with rain.

Panasonic S5IIX top-plate

In a change from the S5II, the Panasonic S5IIX has grey lettering on it’s buttons and dials. This is very difficult to read in anything less than good light, but it forces you to get to grips with the camera’s control layout quickly. Once you build up the muscle memory, you’ll reach for the controls you want without looking at their markings – but it can mean a slow start for some.

Panasonic has stuck with the same control arrangement on the Lumix S5IIX and S5II as on the S5. This means that the exposure mode is set via the dial on the right of the top-plate and the dial on the left is used to set the drive mode. The exposure mode dial is also used to set the camera to video mode and its exposure mode is set via and option in the menu. It would be nice to have a video switch so that the exposure mode for video could be set more directly using the mode dial. That said, most experienced users are likely to put the camera into manual exposure mode for video and leave it there.

A switch to the right of the viewfinder allows the focus mode to be set to manual, continuous autofocus or single autofocus. At the centre of the switch there’s a button that gives a quick route to the focus point options along with Human Eye detection and Animal detection. It’s good to have quick access, especially if you’re switching frequently between capturing stills and video.

Panasonic S5IIX showing the video settings display

Screen and viewfinder

Panasonic hasn’t made any changes to the screen on the Lumix S5IIX in companion with the S5 or S5II, it has a 3-inch 1,840,000-dot vari-angle touchscreen. The vari-angle joint enables the screen to be flipped out to the side of the camera and angled up or down, or rotated to face forwards for vlogging and presenting to the camera.

The vari-angle hinge also means that the screen can be made clearly visible whether the camera is in portrait or landscape orientation.

While the microphone port sits above the top of the screen, the headphone, HDMI and USB-C ports do not, so they may be blocked when the screen is flipped out to the side of the camera. The chances are that if the HDMI port is in use, there’s an external recorder/monitor in use, so it’s unlikely that the screen will need to be flipped to the side. However, those wishing to record to an external SSD connected via the USB-C connection will find the screen’s movement is a little restricted. That said, the USB-C port as at the bottom of the array of ports so it can be used when the screen is angled up for below eye-level recording. Above eye-level recording is more problematic as the screen can’t be angled down while there’s a USB-C cable connected.

As you’d expect, the S5IIX’s screen preview matches the captured image/video well but as usual, it can be hard to see some details in bright conditions. This makes an external monitor with greater brightness and/or a hood an attractive option in some instances.

Like the S5II, the S5IIX has a 3.68-million-dot OLED viewfinder with a refresh rate of 60 or 120fps. That resolution is up from the 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder in the original S5. The Panasonic S1R and S1 both have 5,760,00-dot viewfinders, but putting that in the S5IIX would push its price up.

The viewfinder gives a clearer view than the screen in bright conditions, but of course, it does’t have the convenience of being able to rotate and tilt it to the perfect angle.

Panasonic S5IIX memory card slots


Panasonic’s use of phase detection as well as contrast detection focusing in the Lumix S5IIX and S5II is very welcome. It enables a significant step up in the autofocus performance in comparison with the company’s previous cameras that rely exclusively on contrast detection.

I found that the S5IIX’s Human subject detection is very quick and even in gloomy conditions, it is fast to latch onto a person’s face or eye. It also does a good job of following people around the frame as they move towards or away from the camera. However, once they are less than roughly half the height of the frame, it stops recognising them.

The S5IIX is also pretty snappy at spotting an animal in the frame, but it doesn’t target the eyes so you don’t always get the focus where you want it. In some cases you may need to switch to using a small AF point.

After shooting a few clips of video with the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX’s Image Stabiliser set to its ‘Normal’ mode and with the E-Stabilisaion or Boost IS at Panasonic’s launch event for the S5IIX, I felt it was safe continue in that mode. My faith is borne out by the results as the footage is remarkably stable. That’s very useful for anyone wanting to work without a gimbal or a tripod, and it means you can avoid the crop of the electronic stabilisation unless you really need it.

I’m still testing the S5IIX, but so far I’ve been impressed by the quality of the footage it produces when recording 4K (3840×2160) 10-bit 4:2:0 72Mbps at 25p. I’ll be looking at higher-resolution recording and the external recording options very soon.

Panasonic S5IIX front with lens

Panasonic Lumix S5IIX sample footage

The two short videos below were shot using the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX in 4K (3840×2160) at 25p 4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP and 72Mbps. The lens was the Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and the audio was recorded using the built-in mic. While the first video was shot almost entirely hand-held )all bar a short section when the camera was resting on a shelf), the second one is split in two sections, one shot hand-held and the other using a tripod. The In-camera image stabilisation was set to ‘Normal’ mode and the electronic IS was not used.

Early verdict

While the Panasonic Lumix S5IIX can shoot stills, it’s really aimed at content creators who are more interested in shooting video and offers the ability to record raw video formats, All-Intra and at bitrates up to 800Mbps externally straight from the box. Alternatively, the Panasonic Lumix S5II is a more affordable option for anyone for whom stills and video hold equal attraction, yet it’s also a very capable movie camera. The S5II also comes with the option to pay an upgrade for it to be able to capture raw footage if you should need to at a later date.

Like the S5IIX, the S5II can shoot internal 10-bit 4:2:2 C4K (4096×2160) 4:2:2 at up to 60p and 10-bit 200Mbps 4:2:0 6K (5952×3968) footage at up to 30p.

If you want to avoid the hassle of upgrading the firmware and purchasing a licence, and get access to the highest bitrates, the Lumix S5IIX is the way to go.


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